Patrol season comes to an end

Thursday, 2 April 2015

This coming Easter long weekend marks the official end to the 2014/15 Surf Life Saving season.

Traditionally, volunteer weekend patrols begin at Labour Weekend in October and continue through to Easter for most areas of the North Island and parts of the Eastern Region. In other parts of the country, where the weather is cooler, patrols have already ended.

The following clubs will be patrolling for the entire long weekend from Good Friday through to Easter Monday:

Northern Region:
Bethells Beach
Kare Kare SLSC
Kariaotahi SLSC
Mairangi Bay SLSC
Mangawhai Heads
Omaha Beach SLSC
Orewa SLSC
Raglan SLSC
Red Beach SLSC
Ruakaka SLSC
Sunset Beach LS
United North Piha
Waipu Cove SLSC
Whangarei Heads

Eastern Region:
Hot Water Beach
Mount Maunganui
Waihi Beach

Since the season began at Labour weekend, surf lifeguards have spent over 208,000 hours patrolling New Zealand's beaches and have rescued 1,255 people nationwide.

Statistics for the full 2014/15 patrol season are being collated and will become available in late April.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand is constantly working towards lowering New Zealand's drowning rate and despite the official patrol season coming to end, lifeguards will continue to be part of callout squads and search and rescue squads in many areas. They will also spend the winter months training and upskilling so they are ready for when the new season rolls around again in October.

With lifeguards no longer having a presence on our beaches, SLSNZ urges people to take more responsibility for their own safety in and around the water.

  • Always keep a very close eye on children in or near the water.
  • Get a friend to swim with you - never swim or surf alone.
  • Watch out for that rip - rips are calm, deep patches of water close to shore that can sometimes have waves breaking to the side. Rippled, discoloured or foamy water with debris can also mean there is a rip present.
  • Don't overestimate you or your children's ability to cope in the conditions. Even waist deep water can be life threatening if you step in a hole or get hit by a large wave. Preferably be in the water next to them at all times on a surf beach.
  • Stop and think; when is the last time I had to swim 200m non-stop?
  • Know what the environment can dish up and whether you're equipped to handle it
  • If in doubt- stay out.

For more water safety information, click here.

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Honeybone, Media & Communications Specialist, SLSNZ
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823